The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Big Hurt  |  CD Reviews  |  Classical  |  Jazz  |  Live Reviews  |  Music Features

Out: The third annual Weirdstalk lives up to its name

News of the weird
By LIZ PELLY  |  August 17, 2011

A DRUM BY ANY OTHER NAME Horaflora makes balloons sing 

It's 4:30 pm, and Preggy Peggy is playing in the back of the Cambridge YMCA, as part of "We Are Guest Talk, Free: $10," the weirdly named third annual installment of Weirdstalk, an all-day 34-act line-up of experimental, avant-garde performances of folk, noise, psychedelic, and generally mind-expanding, genre-bending touring and local acts.

Preggy — a/k/a. Weirdo Records owner Angela Sawyer — plays a tiny guitar and sings in a quirky falsetto, covering Milo Jones songs, a Bollywood track, a song from an obscure movie soundtrack, and others. The theater is dark, and the crowd sits on the carpet, next to a tent constructed from flowered tapestries and tin foil.

She is the 20th act today, despite the fest only having started at 2 pm. Earlier, groups set up around the room and played an hour of five-minute sets, then an hour of ten-minute sets, eventually building to 15 and 30 minute sets at the end. The fest was curated by Arkm Foam and Kate Lee of the Whitehaus Family Record, featuring mostly groups they met during five months of cross-country touring with their band Peace, Loving last year.

Later, Boston duo Cotton Candy stand on chairs in another corner, whistling, clapping, and snapping through 15 minutes of commercial jingles for Meow Mix, Rollos, and Light Brite, over minimal acoustic guitar.

Next, one member of Northampton's Cave Bears uses his time to recap twelve days of touring, speaking over screeching toy-instrument horror music, recalling the band's stay with "nice hippies in Chicago" and playing a puppet theater in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Other highlights: a trippy monologue performed with a homemade animated video projection by Missouri's Unicorns in the Snow, noisy psychedelia by Brooklyn's Cloud Becomes Your Hand, a heavy set by Baltimore's Nautical Almanac (a noise group from Ann Arbor, Michigan that has been active since 1994), and experimental "singing balloon drums" by San Francisco's Horaflora. In the end, the eight-hour mini-fest weirded out over 120 attendees.

Related: Out: On a boat with the fraternity of Deer Tick, Out: Revocation display extreme metal form, Out: On a hot summer night at the Middle East, Dream Hits surf a garage-pop lullaby, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , Music, live reviews, Peace Loving,  More more >
| More

 Friends' Activity   Popular   Most Viewed 
Share this entry with Delicious
    Erika Hess showed up at Voltage Coffee & Art in Kendall Square last spring with an idea: she wanted to combine art and activism to teach people about urban gardening. But first, she needed funding.
    Zinesters perused hand-stitched books and photocopied pamphlets on topics ranging from punk politics and parenting to feminism and freeganism, while local musicians played folksy tunes on acoustic guitars, mandolins, and cello between floor-to-ceiling shelves of used books.
  •   QUILT STITCH SONIC GOLD  |  November 03, 2011
    The first track on Quilt's homonymous debut — out this week via Brooklyn label Mexican Summer — is "Young Gold," a three-minute cinematic jam stitched with the band's signature swirling group vocals, temperate drumming, and a sophisticated patchwork of '60s-twangs and Eastern-inspired tones.
  •   REVIEW: REFUGE CAFÉ  |  October 19, 2011
    When the 26-year-old Herrell's-turned-Allston Café closed its doors this past fall due to an unexpected rent hike, the neighborhood lost a favorite hotspot for meeting friends, passing out show flyers, and eating hangover brunch.
  •   VARIOUS ARTISTS | ARE YOU WITH THE BAND?  |  October 18, 2011
    With this new comp, Lauren Denitzio — former vocalist/guitarist of New Brunswick pop-punk outfit the Measure — has collected tracks by 17 of the best current underground female-fronted pop punk bands.

 See all articles by: LIZ PELLY

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed